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LIFE-Natur-Projekt "Rosenheimer Stammbeckenmoore"  LIFE-Natur-Projekt "Rosenheimer Stammbeckenmoore"
Renaturalization / Restoration of raised bogs

Landkreis Rosenheim - LIFE-Natur-Projekt

Even many years after ending the peat exploitation, the drainage ditches are still causing unnecessary dehydration of the bogs. The restoration of peatlands makes sense and is necessary in different ways:
The restoration of raised bogs is a countermeasure against greenhouse effect!
Peat is a fossile fuel and gets "burned" (decomposed) by microorganisms in the dried out raised bogs. In this way the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced and escapes into the atmosphere where it contributes to global warming. In the renaturated rewetted raised bogs, the opposite occurs and carbon dioxide is bound. Due to wetness, the dead plant matter can no longer decay i.e. is no longer "burned" by microorganisms and slowly forms new layers of peat.
The restoration of raised bogs reduces flood problems!
Everybody knows this: When you pour water into a dried out flowerpot, then the water quickly flows away through the shrunken cracks. Damp plant soil can absorb the water much better. The same goes for raised bogs: In the dehydrated raised bogs rain cannot easily be stored and just flows away quickly through the drainage ditch system. The water escape out of renaturated raised bogs is however distinctly delayed and steadier. The streams and rivers benefit from the reduced flood peaks and improved water source, that is released gradually during droughts and periods of low precipetation.
Restoration of raised bogs returns lost habitats for rare and endangered species!
After the long period of peat exploitation, only a small rest of area of raised bogs remained well-preserved. The last existing raised bog-refuge give shelter to species which are genetically isolated and registered in the "red list" of threatend species facing extinction. Raised bog restoration improves the network of natural habitats and therewith increases the odds of survival for these rare species of the raised bogs.
Renaturalization from a bird's eye view

Renaturalization from a bird's eye view

Renaturalization in August 2008 from a bird view perspective. In the background the "Kollerfilze" with rewetted peat digging fields already done after the termination of peat mining, initialized independently from LIFE by prior workers. In the foreground, a major part of the renaturalized high bog area of LIFE. Bigger water areas combined with dammed up surfaces near the ground along with areas in which the bog water level could only be dug out slightly under the ground level. Due to ground water influences, the water is here more flowing than pure high bog water. A manifold of new natural habitats arised here for water and wading birds, black stork, kingfisher(!), dragonflies, amphibian and beavers. Also deer, that already were present here, maintain an adaquate habitat. (click image for bigger size)


Peat mosses are - in all possible crossings - red, green or brown. The success of the renaturation measures is made on the growth of peat mosses. As being the most important peat former, they show if the sealing of the drainage ditches do the job in returning the natural water household. (Photo: Zimmermann)

Rote-filzen-renaturierung / Red sphagnum restoration

The first step was made December 2005 restoring the red moss "Rote Filze". Before this measure could be started, a large-scale clearing of land was necessary including the felling of spruce trees (Fichten / Picea abies) done by the government forest department, which is a LIFE cooperation partner. Further, boy scouts shoveled the earth for the capturing of water needed to rewet the grounds. The use of a digger working for LIFE improved those acitivities.


Woodsandpiper "Bruchwasserläufer" (Tringa glareola) became rare and find optimal habitats in the shallow waters created by the water damming. (Photo: A. Köck)


The Little Ringed Plover "Flussregenpfeife" (Charadrius dubius) became rare and finds optimal habitats in the shallow waters created by the water damming. (Photo: A. Köck)$$

Verwaldung / Planting trees

The raised bogs get strongly overgrown from shrubs and trees following drainage. Thickets further prevent water to enter the moor ground in 2 ways, actively by allowing evaporation through their roots and passively by catching rain, dew and snow, allowing it to evaporate as well. By eliminating the thickets the effect of wetting can be improved.

Renaturierung-damm / Restoration damm

In order to prevent water from flowing out of the ditches, peat walls are built with the use of special equipped peat diggers. Where the water pressure is high, more stabile supporting costruction must be made with the use of tree trunks.

Die Schwarze Heidelibelle (Sympetrumd anae)

Die Black Darter Dragonfly "Schwarze Heidelibelle" (Sympetrum danae, here a yellow colored female) lays its eggs in the shallow waters, arised from the raised bog restoration. (Photo: U. Hölken)

Exkursion / Excursion

Folk and especially property owners must be taught that the raised bog restoration makes sense. That works best right on the scene and spot.


After being dammed the shallow water areas are partly restored giving valuable habitats for water insects like dragonflies, amphibians and water birds. (photo: A. Köck)